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Yes, No, Maybe So Contemporary Jewelry Exhibition

F for Farah is a brand that has challenged jewelry norms on a local, regional and international scale since its inception. The Nook is a space that allows for the creation, discovery and exchange of ideas. These two entities have joined forces for an experiential exhibition that explores the space between object and jewelry, what is wearable, what is not and what lies in the middle ... 

Complimenting this sensory experience will be the work of artists Mona El Kateb and Marwan El Gamal, as a visual and videography supplement to what was surely a one-of-a-kind showcase. 

 

A JEWELRY EXPERIENCE 

Jewelry goes beyond ornament and aesthetics. 

We think we know what jewelry is and what it’s made of, yet a lot of the interesting nuances of its relationship with the body, its materials, social contexts and experience is lost in our consumer-driven world. As part of her research in contemporary jewelry, Farah Abdelhamid breaks down these notions about jewelry, still objects, hand-held objects and the process of wearing into a wholesome experience, placing the body at the forefront of this discussion. 

Farah looks at the body as a subject rather than just a canvas for wearing - this exhibition delves into the space between jewelry as a form of accessorizing that is defined by aesthetic norms and jewelry as an object that exists in and of itself as a piece of art sans interaction with the body. 

Jewelry pieces are designed to rest on (or around) designated parts of the body, as clothes are designed to house the human form, and like furniture in relation to spaces. By looking more specifically at the qualities of necklaces and garments, handheld objects and more specifically pottery, Farah saw these interactions between the human body and objects as an invitation to challenge the norm. 

How does the body know to wear jewelry? 
Does jewelry have to be precious? 
Does jewelry have to be wearable? 
Does the body respond to jewelry the way we imagine it to? Is this response physical? Is it emotional? Or even cognitive? 
Can jewelry exist in the space between wearer and viewer as a form of interaction? A conversation starter? A trigger for intrigue and questioning? 

SEQUENCE - The exhibition is divided into 3 parts 

PART I COMMERCIAL SILVER + GOLD Jewelry as a commercial object to be bought and worn for the purpose of ornamentation and aesthetic appeal, with relation to the body. 

PART II TRANSITIONAL SILVER + GLASS + SILICONE + CLAY The “grey area” where Farah begins to explore the space between object and jewelry. These are pieces that push the boundaries of what can be considered wearable jewelry. 

PART III CONCEPTUAL SILICONE + FABRIC + THREAD + RICE 

  • Intro piece of silicone laying flat at the entrance for the audience to touch before entering the exhibition. 
  • Bubble/pillow hollow spheres in skin tones mimicking the exact moments that the skin morphs, to accommodate the piece of jewelry. 
  • Large and heavy necklace made of silicone, rice-stuffed fabrics to create chain links to emphasize a mass, weight, flexibility and fragility, color and scale, similar to that of the body and skin. 
  • Hollow pots made of silicone, like pillows hanging from the ceiling at head-height allowing the audience entering the space to bump-heads with the pieces. 

Part IV THE SPACE, THE OBJECT & THE BODY 

This exploration has allowed Farah to delve into the sensory and visual impact that jewelry pieces have on the body, in a larger motif to honor it as subject, rather than just a canvas for wearing and adornment. For the purpose of this exhibition, the space was crucial in activating the senses, and taking viewers on a path for spontaneous exploration. This is where Nooge comes in, the founder of The Nook. 

The Nook is a contemporary space that asks its dwellers to come with an open-mind, a willingness to question, a curiosity, an inquisitiveness. The Nook is a multi-disciplinary creative platform, home to an eclectic collective of artists, makers, creators and intellectuals. 

For the purpose of this exhibition the space will host “YES, NO, MAYBE SO” in tandem and in collaboration with the works of Mona El Kateb and Marwan El Gamal, in response to what is a question of traversing the landscape between function and form, art and object, and most intrinsically body and soul. 

Words by Radical Contemporary. A creative platform based in Cairo. 

About Farah Abdelhamid 

Farah Abdelhamid is a multi-disciplinary Egyptian artist with a passion for contemporary jewelry. She received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in Jewelry and Metalsmithing. Her commercial and conceptual work communicate her interests around the social constructs of jewelry and its definitions, and more conceptually focusing on the relationship between a wearable object and the body. Farah is the founder and creative director of F for Farah and Studio with Farah, a contemporary jewelry brand and 

studio where she teaches while simultaneously creating. Farah has been exhibiting internationally since 2015 in jewelry fairs such as Sieraad Amsterdam, art exhibitions and competitions such as Darb 1718 and Dubai Design Week, collaborations for London Fashion Week, and most recently featured in Milan Design Week and with installations in Venice Design as the first Egyptian to be featured in either, and both. 

About The Nook 

The Nook is more than a physical space; it is a philosophy with creative expression at its heart. Its mission is to bring together those who create with those that seek. The Nook provides experiences with a deep seeded culture of gifting and sharing. It is a place of collaboration, dialogue and, more than anything else, a place for creative expression. Located in the heart of Zamalek, Nooge Taher the founder of this space curates all aspects of its design, and with this energy that is cultivated through collaboration there is a warmth that stays with you and welcomes you back when you return.